When you want to free up some time to enjoy friends, family, or any other activity not involving in-depth hair care, a protective style is the obvious choice. Protective styles help you in that they reduce the amount of time required for day-to-day hair care as well as get your hands out of your hair which leads to the wonderful side effect of… length retention.
Some people may not look forward to protective styling as they may consider it boring or a hassle. It is more likely that they just haven’t been opting for the best protective styles to suit their particular lifestyle.
Protective styles don’t have to be boring. In fact, there are different things you can do to ensure they remain creative and fun, especially if you are someone who likes to look fresh by changing up your styles often. There are also protective styles that you can choose that are quick and simple to install.
Even if you don’t like to protective style, the truth is, if you really want to protect those ends and start seeing some good length retention you have to find a way to make protective styling work for you. Particularly during the grow-out phase of your hair journey. Once you get to your target length, of course, you can wear your hair however you like.
Protective styles are broadly divided into two categories. Short-term protective styles and long-term protective styles.
Short-term protective styles are those that allow you to reduce manipulation to your hair overall but you will generally still have to manipulate your hair regularly to restyle it and keep it looking neat. This will usually be every few days or every week.
Long-term protective styles on the other hand don’t need to be restyled often which allows you to drastically reduce manipulation to your hair as you don’t mess with your strands for weeks or months at a time. This of course leads to better long-term length retention.
Note that the manipulation that I am referring to relates to your OWN HAIR and not any added extensions* you may have attached to your hair.
With that in mind here are 10 long and short-term protective styles that look amazing and that you will actually enjoy wearing.
1. All kinds of buns – Low buns, high buns, top knot buns, or even chignons – Short-term protective style
You may think that a bun is quite basic but sometimes less is more and the simplicity of the style can benefit your hair greatly. Buns ensure that the ends of your hair are tucked away and will not be snagging or coming in contact with any abrasive fabrics you are wearing, wool being the worst culprit for snagging delicate hair strands.
The great thing about a bun is that it is super simple and can be done on natural or relaxed hair and with or without hair extensions*. A cute bun can even last a few days before you have to take it down to restyle it.